Diabetes/metabolism research and reviews

Progressive change of intra-islet GLP-1 production during diabetes development.

PMID 24510483


Glucagon-like peptide 1 (GLP-1) and glucagon share the same precursor molecule proglucagon, but each arises from a distinct posttranslational process in a tissue-specific manner. Recently, it has been shown that GLP-1 is co-expressed with glucagon in pancreatic islet cells. This study was aimed to investigate the progressive changes of GLP-1 versus glucagon production in pancreatic islets during the course of diabetes development. Both type 1 (non-obese diabetes mice) and type 2 (db/db mice) diabetes models were employed in this study. The mice were monitored closely for their diabetes progression and were sacrificed at different stages according to their blood glucose levels. GLP-1 and glucagon expression in the pancreatic islets was examined using immunohistochemistry assays. Quantitative analysis was performed to evaluate the significance of the changes. The ratio of GLP-1-expressing cells to glucagon-expressing cells in the islets showed significant, progressive increase with the development of diabetes in db/db mice. The increase of GLP-1 expression was in agreement with the upregulation of PC1/3 expression in these cells. Interestingly, intra-islet GLP-1 expression was not significantly changed during the development of type 1 diabetes in non-obese diabetes mice. The study demonstrated that GLP-1 was progressively upregulated in pancreatic islets during type 2 diabetes development. In addition, the data suggest clear differences in intra-islet GLP-1 production between type 1 and type 2 diabetes developments. These differences may have an effect on the clinical and pathophysiological processes of these diseases and may be a target for therapeutic approaches.